Monday, July 10, 2017

NYC Day 22: A Day On The Lam



My first stop of the day was the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe at 126, Crosby Street. Unfortunately, the store is located in what I consider to be an out of way location that is not easy to reach -- at least when coming from Washington Heights by subway. The store is having a  30% off New York City related books and of course I was keen to see what they had to offer. Frankly, I was very disappointed. I expected to find dozens of books relating to New York City waiting to be consumed by eager readers. Instead I saw a couple of tables each holding a dozen or so mostly obscure books.

To be sure the bookcase set aside for books about New York was standing in the same place, and that had several dozen more books lined up on its shelves, but the much anticipated glut of titles that I was hoping for simply did not exist. Did I say already how much I was disappointed?

To my surprise, I saw what I can only assume to be the very same copy of the collected editions of New Yorker magazine that I had contemplated buying last year still on the top shelf of that bookcase. The editions are contained on a set of four CDs -- or were they DVDs? Anyway, there is was. Maybe it is my destiny to purchase it this time around.

In the end I bought three non-New York titles: What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, by Raymond Carver; Lost In The City, by Edward P. Jones (who is also the author of The Known World); and The March, by E.L. Doctorow. Both the Carver and Jones books are collections of short stories. I started the Carver collection on the train ride home, and was immediately delighted with my purchase. Initially I had thought I might return the book to Housing Works once I finish it, but now I might just have to take it back to Australia with me.

The massive atrium at Brookfield Place

Towers of glass and steel at Brookfield Place

Having decided to make my way to Brookfield Place after visiting the bookstore, I came up for air out of the subway near City Hall. As I walked by City Hall Park, I glanced to my left and looked towards the Brooklyn Bridge. Let me tell you, if I thought the Museum of Modern Art was crowded on Friday night, it turns out that it was nothing compared with the crush of people packed onto the narrow pedestrian walkway across the bridge. Man, it looked like they were shoulder to shoulder, and bumper to bumper from Manhattan all the way to Brooklyn! I don't think I will be walking the Brooklyn Bridge anytime soon. If I do, I think I will leave it until September when most of the summer tourist rush will be over. Mind you, I have made that walk numerous times on previous visits so I am in no rush to do so again -- at least not while there are thousands of other visitors doing so at the same time.

I spent several hours in the vacinity of Brookfield Place relaxing and taking in the views across the Hudson River of the New Jersey skyline. The cool breeze coming off the river was also a good reason to be sitting on a bench watching cruise boats, sailing craft, local ferries, jet ski riders, and private boat operators coming and going in an endless stream of activity. But the life of the river is not all fun and games. Keen watchers will also see the water police monitoring the activities of recreational water craft, and then there are the working tug boats pushing barges upriver (or down river) at the turn of the tides.

Looking forward to the OK GO gig in particular.

This plaza is made for partying and relaxing.

I wish I had access to photos from my first visit to New York in 2008 so that I could add them to this blog for comparison. The rise and rise of tall buildings along the New Jersey shoreline continues apace, and there is no reason to think that the proliferation of ever higher construction is going to stop anytime soon. After all, why should the skyscrapers on Manhattan be the only ones dominating the skyline along the river? And I bet an apartment in a New Jersey tower can be had for a lot less than one in a Manhattan complex. Not only that, but I also think the view of the Manhattan skyline from New Jersey is a lot more interesting than the view of the New Jersey skyline from Manhattan.

Week Three Expenses (Figures in brackets are Australian dollar amounts)
Museum Memberships $19.15 ($25.15)
AT&T SIM card $13.60 ($17.85) | Ongoing weekly
MTA Pass $28.00 ($36.80) | expenses $212.75 ($279.80)
Accommodation $152.00 ($200.00) |
Sunday, July 2 | Expenses $144.80 ($193.30)
Monday, July 3 | Expenses $15.00 ($19.75)
Tuesday, July 4 | Expenses $38.00 ($49.85)
Wednesday, July 5 | Expenses $19.00 ($25.00)
Thursday, July 6| Expenses $78.00 ($102.90)
Friday, July 7 | Expenses $22.00 ($29.00)
Saturday, July 8| Expenses $60.60 ($79.65)
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TOTAL: USD$590.15 | AUD$779.25
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